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Goodbye, Twitter + Other Updates

I'll start this post out by saying that my book production schedule has not changed. My plan is still to rapid-release several books by the end of the year, though I don't have exact dates for that yet. When I have more concrete news on that, I'll let everyone know.

Basically, my intention at the moment is to severely limit the amount of time I spend posting things online, so you probably won't be hearing much from me until I actually have news to share about a planned book release. I'm trying to streamline my platform so that it focuses on getting books in reader's hands above everything else. That's one of the reasons I've been quiet lately on my blog and on social media. Since I care deeply about my interactions with my readers, I want to make sure this silence isn't misinterpreted. Everything I have announced is still happening. That said, in this post, I'm going to explain how my platform is going to change, and why.

First off, if anyone is wondering if I'm okay, the answer is yes…overall. The current economic crisis has hit my sales hard, and given that my books do not tend to sell in high numbers anyway, that has put me in a difficult position financially. I am currently taking on other work in order to make up for this. Also, I am dealing with certain family health issues at the moment that are having an impact on both my time and my ability to enter the emotional state required to write the kind of books that I write. As I'm sure the writers reading this will agree, it can be hard to write something upbeat and funny when you're having a bad day. I'm not trying to get people to feel sorry for me or to raise concerns about my own health–as I said, I'm doing okay overall. My faith is sustaining me in the difficult moments, and I'm blessed with the support of family and friends. I prefer not to share any details about my personal life or problems online, but I'm making a slight exception in this case for purely professional reasons because I want my readers to understand where I am creatively at the moment.

All of this means that I don't have as much time to work on books as I used to. I'm still doing it, but it's going slowly. I'm okay with that, though, because at the end of the day I care more about my upcoming books being good and living up to the standards readers have come to expect from me than having them done by a particular date. That's why I plan to rapid release the next three books in my pipeline; because I that's more fair to my readers than making them wait for long periods in between books. I'd rather get the next chunk of my planned projects done in one fell swoop than keep chipping away at it little by little. As always, I'm thankful for your patience as you wait for the next installments of the stories I'm telling, and my hope is that you will feel the wait has been worth it once they're available for you to read.

The only major change I am making to my production schedule involves my plans for audiobook adaptations. Due to the current financial constraints I'm under, I've been forced to postpone future audio projects indefinitely. I still intend for them to happen at some point, but it definitely won't be this year. Given that audiobooks are very costly to produce and need to pay for themselves in order to be sustainable, I can't justify going on with them under the present circumstances. Hopefully, this situation will change in the not-too-distant future.

The Blackfire Circle newsletter is paused for the moment, simply because I'd rather not send out emails when I don't actually have any news to share. I greatly appreciate all my subscribers, and I want their subscriptions to be worthwhile. So for the moment, I'm taking a break from this part of my platform so I can focus on producing something worth emailing you about.

Next, about social media. As of July 1, my Twitter account is going to be deactivated. This is another decision that I don't want people to misinterpret. I have not had any bad experiencesΒ personally on Twitter that are driving me off the platform. As a matter of fact, a great many of the friendships I have with fellow authors began on Twitter. Unfortunately, the site's effectiveness as a part of my business strategy has plummeted, making it more of a time suck than a worthwhile activity. Also, I deplore the current atmosphere on Twitter. I keep politics and social issues out of my online presence completely, but Twitter has become all about those things. The only thing I will say about current events is this: Twitter is not reality. It's a thought-controlling bubble. And rather than try to shout down the Orwellian gatekeepers that dominate it, which would be a waste of my time and energy, I would prefer to make a statement by withdrawing my support from Twitter entirely.

Granted, these same criticisms can be applied to the rest of social media, but I don't do a great deal of posting on other platforms anyway. I will continue to maintain my Facebook page and Instagram account, but those will be used mainly for business announcements only from here on out. Everyone who is currently online friends with me knows where to find me. I can always be reached by email or by direct messages on Facebook or Instagram. Please don't be offended if I miss a tag from you in a post on either of these sites. I don't check my notifications for anything other than private messages very often, and usually, by the time I notice a tag, it's very late to be posting a reply. I always appreciate your support for me and my books, regardless of whether I respond directly or not.

I know all of this sounds depressing, especially given that I usually try to make you chuckle at least once in the course of a blog post. I don't intend for it to come across that way. I'm at peace with where I am in my career journey at the moment, even if it's not quite where I'd hoped to be when making my plans at the beginning of this year. I'm leaning on my faith and immersing myself in prayer at the moment to ensure that I'm doing what God wants me to do. It's not an easy year for anyone, but He is still in control. That never changes, and it sustains me even when plans go awry or difficult days come. These things happen. Like countless other people, I learned that a long time ago. Bad days weren't invented in the year 2020.

As Jesus Christ tells us very plainly, “In this world you will have trouble,” but He immediately follows that with the command, “But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33b, NIV) Overcome. Past tense. “It is finished.” And just before that, He says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. (John 16:33a, NIV) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27, NIV) Again, this is a commandment, not an optional suggestion. He gives us this mandate along with the supernatural peace and support we need to see it through. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15, NIV) In Christ alone, we have unity, and we have peace that is not affected by circumstances. As it has many times before, life in this fallen world will, from time to time, bring me to a place of sorrow and discouragement. But I choose not to remain there. Christ in me grants me the ability and strength to make that choice. I choose to “have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b, NIV)

Thank you for reading, and for your support for my career. I am confident that I will have something more exciting and fun to share before very long, but for the moment, I appreciate your patience and your encouragement.

Comments (22)

Social media can definitely be a double-edged sword; for me, Facebook has been the worst, and I recently made the perhaps overdue decision to cut waaaaay back on that. I’d like to get more into Instagram, as I’ve heard good things about it, but that’s not a possibility right now for various reasons. Twitter has, for the most part, remained cool for me, though lately there’s been a loooot more blocking, muting and removing, paring down what shows up in my feed that I didn’t ask for. FB had already become unmanageable for me in that area. But Twitter is still generally my happy place — generally. I have found that, for example, indie author promotion is indeed much trickier on there than it used to be even a year ago. I foresee myself switching up my platform/social media in the near future, too.

And I know all about the struggle between wanting to give updates that make sense and explain without crossing whatever line we choose to be “too far” in terms of personal details. Really, we owe no one the information, but we don’t want to seem “standoffish” when we’re trying to build an actual relationship with our readers – since that’s what promotes our publications, as we lack all the fancy-schmancy marketing and big-bucks advertising. But stretching ourselves too thin means our writing does suffer – so I think you’re right to make the choices you know you need to for your own sake.

All that being said, do remember that you never have to go through any of this alone. Do feel free to reach out or share anytime you need to.

Thanks, Daley! I appreciate it!

I’ll admit, it makes me a little sad to know you won’t be on Twitter anymore… I’ve loved following your account there and enjoyed our discussions about Doctor Who (and occasionally pestering you about your characters and stories with other Afterverse fans πŸ˜…). But I understand and fully support your decision to leave that platform. And I’ll continue following your blog and Insta, and looking forward to updates from there whenever you’re ready to share them. 😊

(also, I may be sending you an email soon concerning the Cordelia cosplay I’ve been working on for like two years now… my family moved twice over the last schoolyear and that threw a pretty big wrench in the gears for me creatively, but I’m finally back to work on it and wanted to ask a question about how a prop for her runes might look, if that would be ok 😊)

Of course! You can email me anytime, and I do a lot of direct messaging/chatting with friends these days on Instagram as well (even though I haven’t actually posted there in a while), so feel free to reach out there if you like.

Thank you for the updates! I’ll be sorry not to see you around on Twitter, but I totally respect the choice. I hope the decision proves beneficial for your creative energy in the long run πŸ’›

Just before I read this, I was thinking about how I hardly scroll through Twitter at all these days. I get notifications and I look at those while ignoring the rest. (State of most of my social media currently.)
It’s good to know audio books won’t be coming any time soon (but also not good). It’ll help when we decide whether to move to other books or reading aloud. Covid put a stop on listening during car trips, but it’ll start again and we will run out.
I’ll miss the newsletter. I’ll have time to do something else for a few minutes.

Thanks, Brie! Hopefully it won’t be that long before I’m back to producing more audiobooks.

I’ll miss seeing your excellent tweets in my feed, but I definitely get where you’re coming from and you need to do what’s best for you! I’ll go make sure I’m following you on Instagram =) Wishing you all the best!

Thanks, Grace! You too!

I’m so sorry the economic situation has hit you hard! And I sympathize with trying to produce good writing content during all this. My writing has gotten muuuch slower lately too. It’s just HARD to focus and create good, fun content when there’s so much stress and exhaustion and unknown going on.

With that said, I suspect I speak for all of your readers when I say we care much more about you taking care of yourself than pushing yourself past the limit to give us new books. So if you have to keep chipping away at it slowly, or even step back for a bit, that is absolutely OKAY. I think we can ALL understand that. It’s just a difficult time and we need to not just be patient with each other, but ourselves as well (preaching to my workaholic self *nervous chuckle*).

I’m proud of you for choosing to pull away from some things. Twitter has been…exhausting. Yeah. I hardly ever read anybody’s tweets anymore, ’cause it just drains me. And right now I’m GLAD I don’t have a Facebook. Heh. Good on you for knowing what you need to step away from to help your own mental state. That’s so important.

Thank you SO much for those versus you shared and your thoughts. I desperately needed that reminder today. This is just a season–better days will come again. And, no matter how the seasons change, God never does. He is always faithful and an endless comfort.

I do hope you will have brighter days ahead! Prayers to you and your family!

Trust me, Christine, you are not missing much by not being on Facebook. The ONLY reason I even have an account is to keep in touch with family and friends who don’t use any other kind of social media. I’m doing a lot more scrolling through on Twitter lately, but I also just stay out of a lot of things. It’s a period where the echo chambers of the world are on fire, and people can listen, or avoid.

Thanks so much, Christine, that means a lot! I appreciate your understanding and your prayers!

We totally understand! Thanks so much for sharing this, and I hope the writing goes well! Good for you for stepping back and talking care of yourself and your writing. You and your family are in my prayers, too. Looking forward to more adventures in the Afterverse, whenever and however they get here!

Thanks, Deborah! I appreciate it!

Totally understand. I’m sorry the year has been so rough on you creatively πŸ™

I hope your writing goes well. Thank you for sharing those verses. May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace and an ever-flowing spring of creativity, my friend.

Thank you so much, Jenelle! I appreciate it! (And this has no bearing upon my participation in the Silm Awards, BTW, I’m still absolutely going to do that.)

Well, you dusted off the discord channel, I figured if you were bowing out of the Silmaril Awards, you’d say something πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ but I’m glad to hear it! I am looking forward to those and hope that we can find ways to make them work for us a bit more this year.

Aw! Take your time, Kyle! πŸ™‚ We readers care (or should care) more about the author than the books. Take as long as you need!

I’m sorry life has been so difficult, though. But I hope that God will continue to grant you the peace you need! Much luck!

Thank you! I appreciate it! πŸ™‚

I really appreciate this, too often the entertainment industry gets mixed up in politics.

We’ll be praying for your job! Hopefully you can find a comfortable rhythm until things calm down.

Thanks, Abigail! I appreciate it.

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